Farmers' Market Finds, September 4

Today I realized that during all these weeks of telling you about my farmers' market finds, I've never told you about my reusable shopping bags.

Sure, I have a closet full of reusable bags touting every brand imaginable from Whole Foods to Eggland's Best to Kenneth Cole, and they all get plenty of use, but the bags I take with me to the farmers' market every Saturday are the Vera Bradley shopping bags my mom got for me.

They're brightly colored, have comfortable shoulder straps, and fit a whole lot of stuff. Two of them fit in a very small bag that I just drop in my purse so I have them with me whenever I need them.

I'd say the only downside to them is that they're the only reusable bags we have that I can't get Jeff to carry and help me share some of the burden! (That's why it's good we have some other -- shall we say more masculine -- ones as well.) He usually has his hands full with Gunner anyways.

Today's Finds

On this particular Saturday, I ended up using both bags for all my finds. I wasn't quite ready for them, but squash and pumpkins were already staring me in the face, and there's no saying no to something this cute.

I don't plan to cook this pumpkin because it's so small, so it'll just be used for a fall decoration. But this guy sparked my interest, and I will be cooking it up. It's called a Red Kuri squash. I've never cooked one before, but Christine from Fresh Local and Best suggested cutting it up, drizzling it with olive oil, and roasting it -- and that sounds like a great plan to me!

In addition to these more autumnal finds, I'm still clinging to summer veggies. I ended up getting more tomatoes, corn, and basil; I finally bought some zucchini and an eggplant; and I got a cucumber for salad.

Doesn't this look like the makings for a great eggplant parm? Stay tuned because I'm hoping to make a homemade roasted plum tomato sauce and eggplant and chicken parm some time this week.

A New Find

Lastly, I discovered metch and Seta's Mediterranean Foods today.

Seta's is a local company based in Jamaica Plain and run by one woman, who was extremely friendly and helpful. Seta had traditional Mediterranean foods for sale like baba ganoush and hummus. But there was one item I didn't recognize called metch. When I mentioned that I'd never heard of it, Seta offered me a sample. It turns out that metch is made with bulghur, tomatoes, parsley, scallions, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt -- and of course I loved it and had to bring some home.  I think it will make a great lunch one day this week.

This was Seta's first time at the Union Square Farmers Market as a guest vendor. She can usually be found at the markets at City Hall Plaza, Copley Square, Davis Square, and Dewey Square. I do hope she comes back to Union Square soon!

As I was thanking Seta and turning to walk away, the Greek salad caught my eye. I spied something yellow that resembled a tomato in the salad and asked what it was. Seta explained that it was a lemon cucumber. I'd never heard of such a thing -- have you?

All in all, I spent yet another lovely morning at the farmers' market. While I am excited for fall, I know I'll miss my warm, sunshine-filled morning strolls down to Starbucks and then back up to the farmers' market with Jeff and Gunner when the cold weather sets in. And I've already noticed the supply and variety of heirloom tomatoes dwindling. But I'm not going to think about that right now, and I'm going to embrace the warm days we have left ahead.

What did you find at your farmers' market this week? What summer produce will you miss most?